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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on December 15, 1998
I read the original Outside magazine article that Mr. Krakauer wrote about the Everest disaster and found it intriguing enough to buy his first book on the subject. A riveting story, to be sure, but after two and a half years, can't Mr. Krakauer let this go? I would guess that the other individuals involved (who aren't enjoying nearly as much in monetary rewards) would like to move forward in peace, but Mr. Krakauer insists on milking this story for all that it's worth to him (just in time for the holidays!). Apparently a made-for-TV movie wasn't enough...what's next? Jon Krakauer action figures? If you're looking for a better written and beautifully illustrated text about Everest that also covers the 1996 disaster, choose Everest: Mountain Without Mercy by B. Coburn, T. Cahill and D. Breashers. This magnificient National Geographic book was the result of the IMAX expedition that took place a fews weeks after Mr. Krakauer's. It demonsrates a far greater degree of humility and respect than Mr. Krakauer's self-serving account could ever hope to achieve.
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on June 14, 1998
This was a very disappointing read. I have absolutely no sympathy for the author Mr. Krakauer. Any angst or guilt he lives with for the rest of his life is insufficient for his lack of actions. This is definetly a 90's book about what it like to be so into oneself that there's no time to think of others including those on the climb as well as family memebers left behind. This was a climb about fame at all cost becuase of the perceived bounty that would be recieved. This book hits the nail right on the head showing the two motivating factors behind money. They are greed and fear. In this book greed untimately won, even though fear might have saved lives. They had absolutely no chance of working or functioning as a team. To do this you must be able to put someone's else's interest before your own. It is a story about "I" and "me" and how distructive self centered behavior can be. I'm sorry I wasted my time reading a book about so many people who went all out for themselves. There are many other adventure stories worthy of reading before this one.
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on June 25, 1998
It seems de riguer to have a magazine writer expand his favorite disaster into a book. I think chest beating, hair tearing accounts of watching other people die under the geographically distant and convenient bubble of journalism suck.
Although most people agree that this book is a very profitable damnation of adventure gone bezerk shouldn't the author and the readers be included in this rogue's gallery.
Maybe Jon (who makes his money writing about Yuppie adventure) would like to donate all his profits from the book (and I would assume movie) to redirecting people's adventurous pursuits into helping people in hard places, instead of using up their precious resources, enslaving and endangering their people.
This book makes money from the very thing it says it despizes. Meaningless adventure pursued by ignorant self centered people.
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on October 11, 1998
Well, as a piece of fiction I would give it 5 stars ... it is compelling, one of those books that you can't put down. But as non-fiction, it fills me with anger and revulsion towards the author. Here's the Krakauer strategy -- if I can make everybody, even the good guys, look bad, then maybe I don't look that bad. This man just doesn't get it ... the amount of misery for which he is personnally responsible (I think of the 'friend' he left to die, and then, finding he's not dead, being 'terrified' to think that he might not have made it -- come on Jon, which way do you want it?). Courage and loyalty abound in this book, they cost good men their lives. Unfortunately it appears that neither will ever be understood by the author. That he profits in any manner by this book is nothing short of a crime.
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on July 22, 1998
Krakauer's book was a quick and interesting read UNTIL I followed up with The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev. Krakauer's book comes off as a biased and subjective account and, while it is interesting on that basis, it left me wondering at the mysteries of fate that lead to this tragic event. Boukreev's book, on the other hand, gave me a very clear understanding of the logistical errors that, compounded by the extreme nature of an Everest climb, led to the deaths and injuries of the climbers. In addition, Krakauer's book relies primarily on his observations and Boukreev's book combines his observations with the experences of many other climbers as revealed in detailed interviews. Read this for what it's worth. A PERSONAL account. Read Boukreev for a more FACTUAL and informative read.
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on March 16, 1999
As I was reading each, I couldn't help but think I was reading an elongated version of his "Outside" magazine articles, painfully stretched out into a book version. Both books he claims he "had to write" -- "Into the Wild" for the family's sake, and "Into Thin Air" to get it off his chest. I think maybe he had to write them for the money -- and/or fame. Both books would make fairly good reading if 50% shorter (like forget the first half). It made me angry that I had to waste my time reading the fluff before I could get to what the book, its reviews and its cover promised it would tell me. Shame on Jon Krakauer! Next time I'll happily settle for the "Outside" articles!
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on October 20, 1998
Krakauers account of the 1996 Everest disaster is a one sided, egotistical tirade. While his writing style is easy and fluid, it is the underlying tone of Krakauers story that I found offensive. Too be sure, I could not put the book down as Krakauer is an expert weaver of tales, but upon reflection, the book was nothing more then one mans attempt to assign blame for the events on Everest in May 1996. Read the book, but realize all the time that there are two sides to every story. "The Climb" by the now deceased Anatoli Boukereev is the rebuttal to Krakauers "In to Thin Air". Read back to back, you are assured of many entertaining hours.
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on June 22, 1998
If this book serves any purpose it will stop people from taking the foolish risks these people did in the name of . . . um. . . I don't know. Professional guides take $25,000 to lead people to the summit of Everest where the oxygen is low, the winds high and common sense absent. What a waste of human life there is in this book. If you want to read adventure that examines the human condition try Joseph Conrad or Jack London. I recommend you spare yourself this indulgent, overgrown magazine article about supposedly intelligent people who climb to 28,000 feet and find out why there is no sign of life way up there.
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on September 2, 1998
I do not agree with the majorities of reviews: 1. Krakauer is no good writer - compare him to other classics of mountaineering 2. Just by reviewing articles and other books on the tragedy on May 10th you will find out that he keeps A LOT of events and facts out of the story. The biggest mistake probably is to present Boukreev as the scapegoat... the one guy who did more for the rescue of all the remaining climbers than ANY OTHER PERSON up on the mountain at that time. Sad that he seems to need that to create a Hollywood like drama...
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on May 16, 1998
If you have or plan to read INTO THIN AIR without also reading Anatoli Boukreev's book THE CLIMB, then you are only getting one side of the story. You'd also be participating in an injustice to the unfortunate people who lost their lives on Everest, people that Mr. Krakauer would not help in their hour of need. Read both books, and one gets a clearer picture of what really took place on that mountain. "Everyone has their side of the story, and somewhere in the middle lies the truth."
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